In administering Internet sites, a netmask is a string of 0's and 1's that mask or screen out the network part of an IP address(IP) so that only the host computer part of the address remains. The binary 1's at the beginning of the mask turn the network ID part of the IP address into 0's. The binary 0's that follow allow the host ID to remain. A frequently-used netmask is 255.255.255.0. (255 is the decimal equivalent of a binary string of eight ones.) Used for a Class C subnet (one with up to 255 host computers), the ".0" in the "255.255.255.0" netmask allows the specific host computer address to be visible.
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